1 Thursday, 25
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Let the Registrar call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. Case number
8 IT-00-39-PT, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE MAY: I'll hear the appearances.
10 MS. HOLLIS: Good morning, Your Honour. Brenda Hollis and Nicola
11 Piacente appear for the Prosecution, assisted by Carmela Annink-Javier.
12 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise, but first and
13 foremost, I can't find the right channel. I can't hear the
15 Good morning. I'm Goran Neskovic, and I'm Defence counsel for
16 Mr. Krajisnik.
17 Could you please help me, because there seems to be something
18 wrong with the channel.
19 Very well. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MAY: This is the postponed Status Conference in this case.
21 The various matters which I have in mind to discuss are these: First of
22 all, dealing with the application for joinder of this case with the case
23 of Biljana Plavsic, a timetable for that; to discuss then pre-trial
24 preparations; the status and condition of the accused; and any other
25 matters which may arise, including fixing a date for the next Status
2 The Trial Chamber has received the Prosecution application dated
3 the 23rd of January.
4 Mr. Neskovic, you will have 14 days to respond, of course, to that
5 motion, unless you want to give a response immediately.
6 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I haven't received any
7 papers concerning the application for joinder, and I do realise that the
8 deadline is 14 days for giving a response.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, no doubt a copy can be handed to counsel
11 Have the Prosecution got a copy? The Court's got a copy.
12 MS. HOLLIS: Yes, Your Honour. Plus, Your Honour, it's our
13 understanding that there may be a copy of it already in Mr. Neskovic's
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
16 Well, Mr. Neskovic, no need to react to that for the moment.
17 There is the application, and you've got 14 days to respond to it.
18 This application having been made, the target date which I
19 mentioned at the last hearing cannot be met and must be vacated, at least
20 for the moment. The Trial Chamber will, of course, have to determine the
21 motion and determine whether these cases should be joined or not, but
22 pending that ruling, there can be no date fixed for any trial.
23 I also have in mind that there is one appeal outstanding in
24 relation to jurisdiction and that has yet to be resolved. When those
25 matters are resolved, then a further timetable could be set, but the
1 target date will have to be vacated, as I say.
2 One matter I note from the Notice of Motion and that is that an
3 estimate appears for the Prosecution case of a joint trial, stating that
4 the complex cases, as indeed they would be, will require a lengthy trial,
5 very possibly two or more years for the entire trial. That, of course, I
6 understand, is an estimate and no more than a reference to a possibility,
7 but the length of trial of two years is unacceptable, and the Prosecution
8 must, of course, have that in mind when preparing for the trial.
9 Ms. Hollis, can you assist with the preparations as far as this
10 trial is concerned? On the last occasion when the case was before the
11 Court, there was talk of 78 witnesses having been identified.
12 As far as the witnesses are concerned, is this matter now in
14 MS. HOLLIS: Your Honour, we have since that time contacted all of
15 the confirmation witnesses to determine their availability. Most of those
16 witnesses have indicated that they will be available to testify. Also,
17 since that time, we have disclosed witness statements and documentary
18 evidence in relation to 29 of the 41 municipalities that are at issue.
19 Since the last Status Conference, we have disclosed to the Defence
20 approximately 14.000 pages of documents pertaining to both witness
21 information and hard copies of documentary evidence. In addition to that,
22 we have provided to the Defence approximately 25 CD-ROMs that would
23 contain about 85.000 pages of documentary evidence.
24 We have also, since that time, been progressing in the overall
25 searches that we told the Court about. It is estimated that by the end of
1 June, we will have completed 80 to 82 per cent of the searches of the
2 total of 2.7 million pages. The remaining 18 to 20 per cent are not
3 searchable because of problems with the quality of the documents and also
4 problems we have because of the B/C/S and Cyrillic. We're hoping to
5 overcome those problems so that eventually we'll be able to provide the
6 results of a 100 per cent search, but at this time, it appears by the end
7 of June we will have gone through 80 to 82 per cent of that 2.7 million.
8 And as I explained earlier, as the initial search is done and
9 documents are identified as potentially relevant given the broad search
10 criteria we provide, then a listing of those documents are submitted to
11 the trial team. The trial then goes through and makes selections based on
12 their potential use at trial as well as our obligations under Rule 68, and
13 then as we determine either we may use them or we believe they may fall
14 under Rule 68, those documents are then provided to the Defence. So when
15 I speak to you of the CD-ROMs, very often we're providing disclosure by
16 CD-ROM if it's a large document collection, hard copy if it is a smaller
17 collection and we have determined that it is relevant.
18 We understand that the disclosure to the Defence will be much
19 broader than what we use at trial. We certainly took heed to Your
20 Honours' words that we should use only the most relevant documents, but,
21 of course, in order to determine that, we have to review the documents
22 that are potentially relevant. So we are progressing on those fronts.
23 In regard to the international witnesses that I spoke to you about
24 the last time, to date we will have completed our interviews with 11 of 17
25 internationals who have been identified as potential witnesses. We have
1 submitted a request for interview with the remaining six. However, we
2 have not yet received approval from the relevant authorities for those
3 interviews. So we continue to attempt to set up those six interviews.
4 JUDGE MAY: The 2.7 million documents are those which are
5 potentially relevant; is that right?
6 MS. HOLLIS: That's our total collection. Among those are
7 duplicates. Those are weeded out at the early stages. There is an
8 estimate that in our main database there's probably 1.7 million pages that
9 are potentially relevant, and in our database that has to do with seized
10 collections there's probably another 750.000 pages.
11 So as we go through the searches, the duplications are weeded
12 out. Those documents that clearly would have no relevance, for example,
13 if we're looking for Ministry of Defence and the document is identified by
14 Ministry of Defence and it turns out it's the Ministry of Defence for
15 Great Britain, then that is excluded at that time. So we're narrowing as
16 we go through our searches to get down to the pool that are potentially
17 relevant, and then those are broken out according to further categories we
18 have given the people. They come down to the team and we weed them out.
19 So at this point in time in this case, of those ones that are
20 potentially relevant, there is a final review rate of acceptance of about
21 24 to 30 per cent, and it is that amount that are sent down to the second
22 echelon of reviewers who look at those in the context of our case to
23 determine one, do they need to be disclosed under Rule 68; number two, are
24 they potentially relevant for the case; and then based on those
25 selections, the numbers are further reduced. So it's a funnel-type
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 approach to the issue, getting smaller as we work through the levels of
3 JUDGE MAY: What would the effect of a joinder be on this
5 MS. HOLLIS: We have had in mind the possibility of the accused
6 Plavsic being here, as well as the fact that anything relevant to her
7 activities is probably relevant to Mr. Krajisnik. So the search has
8 encompassed both all along. So that would not prolong the search.
9 JUDGE MAY: As far as witnesses are concerned, are there many in
11 MS. HOLLIS: Most of them will be in common, even at the
12 international level. With the international witnesses, what we call, in
13 general, the linkage witnesses, there may be some differences there
14 because it could be that some people have had contact with only one of the
15 two accused, but the great bulk of the witnesses in this case will be the
16 crime-base witnesses and those would all be the same.
17 JUDGE MAY: You must remind me what you mean by "linkage."
18 Linkage with what?
19 MS. HOLLIS: The witnesses who would establish why these
20 particular accused should be held guilty for the crimes that occurred in
21 Bosnia. So those could include the internationals that we're talking
22 about, policy witnesses, also witnesses who will explain the
23 responsibility and authority of the various organisations to which these
24 accused belonged and in which they participated, experts to explain some
25 of the issues, those types of witnesses.
1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. On the last occasion there was talk of
2 some meetings, and I gather there was some cooperation between the parties
3 on presenting this case. Is there any further news on that?
4 MS. HOLLIS: We did not have meetings prior to this Status
5 Conference, but we did have meetings prior to the other Status
6 Conferences. We have been able to cooperate in setting up, if you will, a
7 framework for cooperation.
8 Since the last Status Conference, we have submitted an additional
9 34 adjudicated facts to the Defence for them to consider. To date, we
10 have received no response from the Defence as to whether they would accept
11 any of the adjudicated facts submitted, nor have we received a response as
12 to which, if any, of the numbered parts of the indictment they might
13 stipulate to or agree to.
14 JUDGE MAY: No doubt this matter can be taken further in terms of
15 possible meetings. If not, it will have to be dealt with by the Trial
16 Chamber formally.
17 MS. HOLLIS: Yes, Your Honour. I'm confident that we can -- we
18 certainly can have additional meetings and discuss that. Perhaps the
19 Defence is waiting for additional disclosure before they decide upon the
20 adjudicated facts or the indictment, but we have worked well together, and
21 I have every reason to believe we will continue to do so.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Are there any matters which the
23 Prosecution want to raise?
24 MS. HOLLIS: No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Neskovic, you've heard what's been said.
1 Obviously, in due course, you should respond to the invitation to admit
2 some adjudicated facts, and you should continue to meet with the
3 Prosecution in order to present, if possible, an agreed framework for the
5 You've heard what's been said about disclosure. Obviously there's
6 a large amount of material which is coming to you. As I said, the trial
7 cannot now take place in May, but it must take place as soon as possible
9 Is there anything you want to say about cooperation with the
10 Prosecution or indeed any other matters?
11 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as for admitting some
12 adjudicated facts and as for the indictment itself, the Defence is working
13 on this. Of course, there are quite a few problems involved because there
14 are a lot of documents and this is quite a burden for the Defence.
15 You heard that this is 2.7 million documents, as the Prosecutor
16 said. If we look at all these documents that are being served upon the
17 Defence, these are not only documents from the state government, from
18 regional governments, town authorities, et cetera, but it goes all the way
19 down to village guards. So in order to read all of this, at least, not to
20 mention analyse it all substantively, the Defence would need five to ten
21 attorneys. In this way, the Prosecutor has actually provided everything
22 that exists in terms of documents from 41 towns in Republika Srpska. So
23 these are -- so these are all the documents related to Republika Srpska.
24 However, if the Defence were to deal with all the documents of
25 this nature that were from the Muslim/Croat Federation, then that would be
1 even more documents.
2 You know that additional hours have been granted for the Defence
3 and for its investigators in order to prepare properly. However, still we
4 have problems related to documentation and studying it, and of course we
5 have the constant problem of witnesses.
6 As for the application for a joinder, I'm not going to say
7 anything right now, but I think that Mr. Krajisnik and Ms. Biljana
8 Plavsic, even according to the indictment, had different positions after
9 all, because first the position of Ms. Biljana Plavsic will have to be
10 determined, and after that the position of Mr. Krajisnik, both causes --
11 consequences in relation to both, and then the Defence will work in
12 accordance with that.
13 I thank you.
14 JUDGE MAY: As far as your resources are concerned dealing with
15 these documents, you can make an application for a co-counsel, and
16 obviously you should consider that. You may have done. You may have made
17 the application. But clearly, more resources are going to be needed.
18 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, we have submitted
19 such a request and I expect that our team will finally have been
20 established by mid-February.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If at any stage you find difficulty about coping
22 with the amount of work, then it's a matter you can raise with the Trial
23 Chamber. We don't want to be in the position either of the Defence not
24 being properly prepared - you must have the opportunity for that - but at
25 the same time, we don't want to be holding the trial up because of lack of
2 So keep, if you would, both those matters in mind in the coming
3 preparation period.
4 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MAY: Are there any other matters which you want to raise,
6 Mr. Neskovic?
7 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. It remains to deal with the status and
9 condition of the accused.
10 Before I do that, the next Status Conference in this case must
11 take place on or about the 25th of May. Now, it may be that before then
12 there will be other considerations which will mean that an additional
13 hearing will be necessary, but the 25th of May is the last possible date
14 for the next Status Conference.
15 Mr. Neskovic, is there anything that you want to raise or the
16 accused wants to raise in connection with the conditions of detention? If
17 there are, we'll go into closed session.
18 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing, Your Honour. Maybe
19 perhaps Mr. Krajisnik, the accused.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have something to say if I'm
21 permitted to do so.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go into closed session.
23 [Closed session]
13 Pages 81-87 redacted – closed session
23 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
24 10.35 a.m.